Quantum mechanics & the big world

Leiden Repository

Quantum mechanics & the big world

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Quantum mechanics & the big world
Author: Wezel, Jasper van
Publisher: Leiden University Press, Leiden
Leiden Institute of Physics (LION), Institute-Lorentz (Theoretical Physics), Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2007-04-04
Keywords: Orbital Ordering
Quantum State Reduction
Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking
Abstract: Quantum Mechanics is one of the most successful physical theories of the last century. It explains physical phenomena from the smallest to the largest lengthscales. Despite this triumph, quantum mechanics is often perceived as a mysterious theory, involving superposition states that are alien to our everyday Big World. The construction of a future quantum computer relies on our ability to manipulate quantum superposition states in qubits. In this thesis it is shown that these qubits can be subtly influenced by the physics associated with spontaneous symmetry breaking. This process destroys the quantum nature of the qubit and renders it useless for quantum computation. An even more fundamental problem with quantum superpositions is that they cannot be reconciled with the theory of general relativity. In the end of this thesis a model is proposed which describes the effective, deteriorating, influence of gravity on quantum states, thus suggesting a path toward the demise of quantum mechanics in the big world.
Description: Promotores: J. van den Brink,J. Zaanen
With summary in Dutch
Faculty: Faculteit der Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen
Citation: Wezel, J. van, 2007, Doctoral thesis, Leiden University
Series/Report no.: LUP dissertations
ISBN: 9789087280208
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/11468
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